National Exam Seasons

The Joint Council of Qualifications (JCQ) allows awarding bodies to deliver two main exam seasons for academic subjects annually. The November exam series for students resitting English language GCSE or Maths GCSE in KS5, and the Summer series which runs from May to June annually, is for GCSE at KS4 and KS5 and GCE (AS and A Levels) in KS5.

BTEC’s/ RSL/NCFE also have an External Assessments windows as a separate series that takes place from January to May. KS4 Strand students taking qualifications with these awarding bodies can expect to sit an external assessment during year 10 or year 11, during Term 3 and/or Term 4.


Ofqual have announced this year there will be formal written exams taking place in the Summer 2022 exam series, and they intend for GCSE, AS and A Level subjects to return to being assessed in set date written exams.

They have published a letter to students to explain their decision for summer examinations and assessments. Please find the link to this letter here: Ofqual Letter to Students

The Summer 2022 series written exams will have some adaptions to reduce content for English Literature and History. Physics and Maths subjects will have an additional formula sheet available in the written exams and all other subjects will have advance information about the summer exams published by the 7th February 2022, to assist students with their revision.    

Grading will be set at a standard between 2021 and 2019 grade boundaries. This means that exam boards will set grade boundaries, so that more students will get higher grades in 2022 then before the pandemic based on grade boundaries. 

In response to the pandemic, a contingency plan of Teacher Assessed Grades (TAG's) will be used if Summer 2022 exams cannot go ahead. 

Students must ensure they have read the JCQ candidate information for GCSE and GCE (AS and A Levels) before the exam season begins. Please see above for the link to the JCQ candidate information page.